Are you looking for a way to keep your natural hair moisturized and healthy? If so, look no further than shea butter! Shea butter is an all-natural fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It is rich in fatty acids, vitamins A and E, and other nourishing compounds which makes it great for keeping your skin and hair hydrated.
Shea butter is an excellent natural remedy for many hair problems like dry hair, itchy scalp, matted hair, etc. Its high concentration of oleic acid helps to lock in moisture while providing anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the scalp.
In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about using shea butter on your natural hair and why every natural hair girlie should have this amazing goodness in their hair kit.
Types of Shea Butter
Unrefined Shea Butter
If you’re looking for something that offers the most hydration and nourishment, opt for unrefined shea butter. Unrefined shea butter is the purest form and is often referred to as raw shea butter. It has a natural, nutty scent and contains all the vitamins and fatty acids needed for healthy hair.
This type of shea butter provides intense hydration because it hasn’t been processed. Shea butter in its raw form does not contain any allergens, so it is safe to use for everyone.
Refined Shea Butter
Refined shea butter is the most commonly used type in cosmetics. It has a lighter texture because it has been processed and refined to remove any impurities or odors, making it more suitable for products like lotions, creams, and soaps.
Some refined shea butters are overprocessed with harsh chemicals that make them lose most of their natural healing properties. There are different types of refined shea butter available in marts and online stores, so be sure to watch out for ones with ingredients that can trigger your allergy.
If you want to make sure that your refined shea butter is free from any harmful chemicals, opt for organic or natural brands. These types of shea butter are free from synthetic ingredients and are typically certified by the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA).
Benefits of Using Shea Butter on Natural Hair
Shea butter is an excellent choice for natural hair as it provides intense hydration while also offering protection against environmental damage. The fatty acids and vitamins found in shea butter help to reduce dryness, frizz and split ends while providing shine and manageability. It can even help strengthen your hair by preventing breakage.
How to Use Shea Butter on Natural Hair
There are several ways to use shea butter on your natural hair. You can use it as a pre-poo treatment before shampooing or you can apply it directly onto damp strands after washing for added moisture and nourishment.
1. For itchy scalp
Shea butter is an excellent natural remedy for itchy scalps. It can help relieve itching, reduce inflammation, and moisturize the scalp. It is also rich in vitamins A and E which help to protect hair follicles from damage.
To use shea butter on your scalp, start by heating a small portion of shea butter until it is melted. You can do this in a double boiler or by using a microwave. Once the shea butter is melted, massage it onto your scalp, focusing on areas that are particularly itchy or inflamed. Work the shea butter into your scalp for several minutes before washing it off with warm water.
2. For hair growth
The fatty acids in Shea butter help to deeply penetrate the hair follicles and promote healthy growth. It is a highly nourishing and moisturizing product that helps to hydrate your hair, scalp, and tresses. Shea butter can help fortify hair strands and make them stronger.
To use shea butter for hair growth, you can either purchase pre-made products containing this ingredient or make a homemade mask. To make a shea butter hair growth mask, simply combine equal parts of melted unrefined shea butter and your choice of carrier oil (such as avocado, almond, or coconut oil). Apply this mixture to your scalp and massage it in. Allow the mixture to sit on your scalp for at least 15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
You can also apply shea butter directly to your hair and scalp by warming a small amount in your hands and massaging it into the scalp. This helps to moisturize and protect the hair while encouraging healthy hair growth. To ensure that all of the product is absorbed, leave it on for at least 20 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.
3. To soften and detangle natural hair
When it comes to detangling natural hair, Shea butter is an excellent product to use as a moisturizer, conditioner, and styling aid. This natural and versatile product is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents that can keep your kinky hair soft, shiny, and manageable.
To apply Shea butter on your natural hair, begin by washing your locks with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo. After rinsing off, apply a generous amount of Shea butter to your damp strands and massage it into your scalp using circular motions. Let this sit in your hair for 10 minutes to allow it to penetrate deep into the follicles.
4. As a moisturizer for dry and brittle hair
Shea butter is loaded with vitamins and fatty acids, making it an ideal choice for moisturizing the scalp and hair shafts.
To use shea butter to moisturize your natural hair, opt for unrefined shea butter. For maximum benefit, you should use the shea butter while your hair is damp, as this will help to lock in moisture. Work a small amount of shea butter into your strands using a wide-toothed comb or your fingers. Start from the ends and work up toward the scalp.
After applying the shea butter to your hair, you can leave it in overnight or leave it in a shower cap for an hour before rinsing it out with lukewarm water. This will help seal in moisture and keep your natural hair soft and protected from dryness.
Tips for Using Shea Butter Effectively
To get the most out of your shea butter, here are some tips for using it effectively:
- When melting unrefined Shea butter, try not to heat it until it reaches boiling point. Overheating Shea butter can make it lose some of its natural properties.
- Start with freshly washed and conditioned hair. This will help the shea butter absorb better into the strands.
- If your hair is dry, apply a light oil or leave-in conditioner before applying shea butter to ensure it penetrates the hair shaft.
- You can add a few drops of shea butter to your styling products for extra nourishment and protection.
- Use just enough so that you don’t end up with an overly greasy look but be sure to cover all your hair.
Shea butter is an amazing product for natural hair care. With its hydrating and nourishing benefits, Shea butter is a must-have for anyone with natural hair. Be sure to give it a try and see the amazing results. Happy styling!